2014 Aug 1, Friday – 3 sets – on Main Stage North
6:00 – 7:00 wsg Cory Allen
8:30 – 9:30 wsg Marcus Elliot
11:00 – 12:00 wsg Rockelle Fortin

Louis Rudner - Bass

Louis Rudner – Bass

Louis Rudner Quartet is a new group comprised of MSU Jazz Studies Students and Alumni assembled to back three special guest artists.  The core of this group is a long standing partnership between Bassist Louis Rudner and Drummer Jeff Shoup who both completed their Masters of Music Degrees in May 2014.  On keyboards, Alex Krausman is a multi talented performer with influences stretching from Bud Powell to Scriabin.  While pursuing dual careers in music and medicine Alex maintains a creative mindset and approach to music making.  Olin Clark is currently a student completing his undergraduate studies at MSU.  He is a Guitarist from the Grand Rapids area and has been growing his musicianship and reputation steadily.

Rudner began exploring music on the violin at age 8, and at 13 began playing the viola. The forward thinking rock of the 1960’s prompted him to take up electric bass, followed in time by a switch to the double bass. Inspired by the playing of Rodney Whitaker, Louis attended Michigan State University to study with him.  It is in his nature to investigate an eclectic base of music and perform with an equally varied community of musicians.

Jeff Shoup.

Jeff Shoup photo by JDC Photography, JessicaCowles.com

The same can be said of Shoup, who started drumming semi-professionally in the early ’90s and since has performed in settings as varied as the “Jazz Tuesday” jam sessions at Stober’s Bar, area restaurants, night clubs, major festivals and special events; often performing with notable musicians, not only in the field of jazz, but some of Lansing’s most popular bands playing many blues styles and funk/R & B.

Cory Allen guitarist.

Cory Allen

6:00-7:00 pm : : Cory Allen, guitar

Detroit-based guitarist Cory Allen is an active performer and educator throughout southeastern and central Michigan. He received his B.S. in Music from Central Michigan University in 2010 and his M.Mus in Jazz Studies from Michigan State University in 2012, and has remained an in demand guitarist and teacher since. In addition to having performed with musicians including Randy Geliespie, Perry Hughes, Rodney Whitaker, Marion Hayden, Jim Alfredson, and Rob Smith, he maintains a busy teaching schedule, giving private lessons and ia a faculty member of MSU’s CMS-Detroit Youth Jazz Program.

Marcus Elliott on sax.

Marcus Elliott

8:30-9:30 pm : : Marcus Elliot, tenor sax — Saxophonist, composer and educator who is quickly gaining recognition for his imaginative improvisation, and  fervently thoughtful voice on the saxophone. Marcus began playing professionally in the Detroit jazz scene when he was 15 years old. His talent earned him a scholarship to attend Michigan State University, where he studied with Diego Rivera, Wes “Warmdaddy” Anderson, and Rodney Whitaker. As a band leader, Marcus has led the Marcus Elliot Quartet for the past eight years. He self-released his first album, Looking Forward, in 2010, and a new album is due out this fall. As a sideman, Marcus has performed with  Bob Hurst, Karriem Riggins, James Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Geri Allen, Marcus Belgrave, Mulgrew Miller, Rodney Whitaker, Talib Kweli and many others. As an educator he has been the Artist-in-Residence at Troy High school, and Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Civic Jazz Band. He currently lives in Detroit where he composes and performs music with local ensembles.


11:00-12:00 : : Rockelle Fortin, vocalist

Rockelle Fortin

Rockelle Fortin

Friday at JazzFest will close out with the versatility, power and soulful range of vocalist Rockelle Fortin, back after performing at JazzFest 2013. Born and raised in Detroit, Rockelle was immersed in the music mecca known as Motown. Daughter of a world-renowned bassist, and granddaughter of a blues singer, music is in her lineage and her heart.  At the age of 3 she practiced in front of a mirror with her grandfather’s microphone, saying “one day I’m going to be a blues singer”.  As she grew up she began to sing in the church choir and would often project louder than the rest of the singers. Rooted in gospel, blues and jazz, with vocal aptitude for R&B as well, it was jazz that prevailed for her college experience — she attended Michigan State University‘s Jazz Studies, where she sang in the top Jazz Band I.

Rockelle has performed at several festivals across the Midwest, as well as many premier jazz clubs, including Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, The Dirty Dog Jazz Café and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.  She has collaborated with Rodney Whitaker, Greg Hutchinson, Antonio Hart, Wycliffe Gordon, Terrell Stafford, Randy Gillespie, Wes “Warmdaddy” Anderson, Rick Roe, Diego Rivera, Cyrus Chestnut, Rodney Green, and a host of other musicians. She has participated in several Master classes and workshops, and is most recently featured on a major label recording with Rodney Whitaker.